Predicted Manchester United XI v Derby

Manchester United will get their pre-season underway against Derby County today.

It’s the first time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will have been in action since the crushing blow of the Europa League final defeat to Villarreal.

The team which takes to the pitch against Wayne Rooney’s side won’t bear much resemblance to the one who played in Gdansk.

But there will be some familiar faces, as well as some youngsters looking to make an impression on Solskjaer.

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images


Who will start for Manchester United?

Let’s begin in goal. New-boy Tom Heaton will expect to start, despite the fact Dean Henderson is back in training.

He’s back at the club for his second spell, 11 years after he left for Cardiff.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka should start at right-back, having returned to training already, with Alex Telles on the other side.

United are short on experienced central defensive options in the absence of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

That should mean Axel Tuanzebe starts and Teden Mengi is the most likely to play alongside him.

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

James Garner shone on loan at Nottingham Forest last season and could partner Nemanja Matic here. Juan Mata will also add experience.

It has been reported recently that Solskjaer is planning to move from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 and that new formation could get its first outing here.

Flying young wingers Anthony Elanga and Facundo Pellistri could well play either side of Mason Greenwood upfront.

It should be noted that the team could be completely changed at half time so perhaps the strongest players might end up being split across the two halves here.

Other such as Tahith Chong, Dylan Levitt, Ethan Galbraith, Will Fish, Dishon Bernard, Joe Hugill, Brandon Williams, Jesse Lingard and Hannibal Mejbri could all play a part.

The aim of the game is getting fitness up and Solskjaer will want to get minutes in the legs of as many players as possible, even without many of his senior stars.

Manchester United pre-season fixtures 2021

  1. Derby County (away)

    Sunday July 18, 1pm

  2. QPR (away)

    Saturday July 24, 3pm

  3. Brentford (home)

    Wednesday July 28, 8pm

  4. Preston North End (away)

    Saturday July 31, 2pm

  5. Everton (home)

    Saturday August 7, 12.45pm

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.